How Rahul Dravid contributed in the making of Sanju Samson

first_imgIt was a watershed moment for Kerala wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Samson on Tuesday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. (More IPL News)The 22-year-old right-hander finally lived up to his potential and hammered a fine hundred against Ring Pune Supergiant, becoming the second youngest and 12th Indian to hit a century in the Indian Premier League. (Stats: Sanju Samson 12th Indian to score an IPL hundred)His century propelled Delhi Daredevils to a handsome 97-run victory over Pune Supergiant.Samson set things on fire in the first innings as Delhi posted a mammoth 204/5. He took the Pune bowlers to the cleaners from the word go, before converting his first T20 half century to a match-winning hundred. (Sanju Samson blasts first hundred of IPL 2017)Samson, who got to his century with a straight six off Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa, clobbered five sixes and eight fours in his 63-ball 103.The first century of the IPL 2017 was an important knock for both Samson and Delhi Daredevils in many aspects.Samson made it a night to remember for Delhi Daredevils, who were banking on their young turks in the absence of some of the big stars in the ongoing season. (IPL’s first centurion Brendon McCullum in awe of Sanju Samson: Twitter reactions)For the man himself, it was innings that will help him come out as a mature player. Samson, a son of a police constable, emerged as a talented batsman in the Kerala junior circuit. A consistent outing in the Cooch Behar Trophy earned him a place in India’s team for the U-19 Asia Cup in 2012.advertisementHowever, the tournament proved to be a failure for Samson, who managed just 14 runs in three innings in Kuala Lumpur and was not selected in the subsequent U-19 world cup.Samson made up for it in the Ranji Trophy that season with some fine performances with behind the wicket and with the bat, including two centuries.But it was not the show in Ranji Trophy which made him the next big thing. In 2013, Samson’s consistent performances with the bat for Rajasthan Royals made him a household name. Former India captain Rahul Dravid, the then captain of the Rajasthan team, declared more than once that he was a star in the making. (Sanju Samson finds admirers in Zaheer Khan and Ajinkya Rahane)Samson followed it up another breakout season in the IPL in 2014 where he finished as the joint-highest run-scorer for Rajasthan along with Ajinkya Rahane. Samson was awarded for his consistent performances in the IPL as he was picked for the Zimbabwe tour in 2015. He made his India debut in a T20 match against Zimbabwe, where he scored 19.Dravid, who became the head coach of the Delhi Daredevils in the 2016 season, bought Samson at the auction and the batsman repaid his mentor’s faith by being the third-highest scorer for the team.However, as mostly the case with famed young players, Samson too came into the limelight for all the wrong reasons during the end of 2016. Samson lost his place in the Kerala Ranji side following allegations of indiscipline and was let off only after he tendered an apology. (Sanju Samson thanks Dravid after maiden IPL hundred: Blessed to be with Rahul sir)Amidst all this turbulence, there was one man who never lost his confidence in Samson. Despite of below-average performances in the 2015 and 2016 season of the IPL, Dravid constantly backed Samson to come out good.And on Tuesday, it was Samson’s turn to repay Dravid for the faith he has shown in him. Among the strong crowd in Pune and his cheering Delhi teammates, there was a beaming Dravid, a man who has kept Samson under his wings from the last five years.After the monumental knock, Samson said he was “blessed” to be a part of the Delhi squad and train under the watchful eyes of Dravid.”It’s one of the best knocks of my life and I’m very happy that it has come in the IPL. It is the start of the tournament and we have long way to go from here. I hope to keep contributing to my team’s success,” Samson was quoted as saying by the iplt20.com.He dedicated the knock to Dravid and to the support staff of Delhi.”The dedication must go to the Delhi Daredevils management. I think Rahul Dravid, Zubin Bharucha, Paddy Upton and each member of the team who has supported me throughout. Last IPL season was not a great season for me, but they supported me throughout and I dedicate this knock to them,” he said.advertisement”I was 17 when I was with the Rajasthan Royals and since then I have been working with him and feel very blessed to be learning under his guidance. Not too many people get this chance and I feel I am extremely lucky to have him around and guide me,” he added.When asked to differentiate between Dravid as a captain and as a coach, Samson said: “I feel Rahul Dravid, the captain on the field, was a bit more aggressive. But when it comes to coaching he is a lot more calm as opposed to what he was while captaining the side.”last_img


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